Ways to overcome the fear of change – Part 2

Making a success of your digitalisation project How to overcome the fear of change?

Part 2: Ways to overcome the fear of change

Incantatory talk is counterproductive: telling someone to stop being afraid will simply not work, because fear cannot simply be switched off. To convince yourself of this, take some friends on a via ferrata for the first time in their lives and you will quickly understand the following: fear is an emotion, and cannot be countered with a rational argument. To help someone overcome their fear, you need to find out what would motivate them to take the leap into the unknown.What is the benefit or reward needed for this person to overcome their fear?

We accept change if we perceive a need for it, or if we find a real benefit in it (our expectations are better met) and sometimes we undergo change when we are forced to do so (a matter of survival, legal constraint) and in this case, we will try to bypass or passively obstruct. To convince, not coerce, you need to make the reward greater than the fear.


Some practical ways to increase the reward:

  • If innovation is a key objective for your company, then variable pay targets, hiring and promotion criteria should value this risk-taking and innovative spirit.
  • Personalise the benefit by answering the question “what’s in it for me?” Each case is individual, but there are benefits that involve the group such as the value of these new experiences in tomorrow’s work environment, the opportunities for internal promotion and the impact on the company’s overall image. It is also necessary to reassure those who fear for the continuity of their jobs when the most repetitive tasks are “automated” by accompanying them towards functions with higher added value through internal training, because digitalisation also creates new needs (more data available to be exploited) and new professions (non-repetitive tasks requiring creativity and/or experience, which the competition cannot offer).
  • Quantifying the cost and impact of not taking risks: asking honestly the question “what is the risk of doing nothing?”implies looking at what the competition is doing and knowing the evolution of market expectations. Launching too late is more expensive than launching too early because the market is already taken, and the talentsare already with competitors.
  • Adopt a management style that “involves” employees and encourages their initiative (failures are opportunities to learn, not reasons to blame). Praise the “pioneers” who work to bring about changes that will bring new competitive advantages (regardless of the short-term result). Listen to and answer employees’ questions. Solicit the most resistant to change by asking for their opinion on how to improve things, they often come up with excellent ideas and will more easily buy into the change.
  • Give examples of companies that focused on what they did well and missed the next technological shift (Kodak, Olivetti, BlackBerry, there are many examples…). Give mostly internal examples where customers were lost to more innovative competitors, but also examples where progress was made by bringing something new.

In summary, understanding natural fear and responding to it with incentives rather than inducements is the best way to develop your organisation’s capacity for innovation. Trust new solutions, even without a reference, if you can experiment with them yourself and if they fit your own business strategy. Who would have bet on SAP in 1971, on Tesla in 2003 and on Amazon Web Services in 2006?

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Overcome the fear of change – Part 1

Making a success of your digitalisation project
How to overcome the fear of change?

Part 1: Why industrial practices are outdated and what will inevitably change in the industry?

By nature, we like to have our bearings, our habits. In short, to be in our comfort zone. Doing something new or different creates a feeling of fear in most of us. This comes from the fear of failure but especially from the gaze of others (loss of reputation). The more visible a subject is, the larger the audience, the greater the fear of others’ judgement and therefore the greater the obstacle to expressing one’s ideas, one’s convictions, to proposing something new and unprecedented.

There is a trend to conform to the most generally accepted opinion and to limit oneself to solutions that have already been tried and tested and that are agreed upon, even if they are outdated or unsuitable. There are other signs of this lack of confidence in one’s ability to change:

  • The massive use of external consultants to copy and paste so-called “good practices” (rather than involving internal consultants who know the real context of the company and can assess their real usefulness).
  • Secondly, the choice of technology or software not because it is relevant to the company’s strategy but because it is the “leader” in its field and therefore “reassuring”.

It is human to fear change, and this poses a major challenge to any company committed to the digital transformation of its organisation. To innovate is to take the risk of being the first to do something that no one has tried before. We sometimes move forward cautiously, we may fail, but we learn from our mistakes and start again in a different way. The company must value this type of approach; innovation depends on encouraging employees to adopt this mindset.


This is particularly true in a company that is profitable today. Success can lead shareholders and employees alike to believe that the need to change is less vital than for a company in difficulty. Why take the risk of changing an organisation and tools that work? The answer is right in front of us: how many organisational models that were once relevant are now outdated and will be in turn in the increasingly near future? Even for successful companies, stand still is not an option.

A prerequisite for digital transformation:

Keep in mind that 70% of digital transformation projects do not achieve their goals according to a study conducted by Harvard University. Of the $1300 billion spent on digital transformation in 2019, the study estimated that $900 billion was wasted. Why do some companies succeed in their digital projects and others fail? Fear of change is one of the main reasons for low employee engagement and involvement in corporate innovation projects. It is this fear of change that must be overcome as a priority, otherwise the transformation project will only amplify the shortcomings of the current organisation. In the next post, we will discuss solutions to overcome the fear of change.

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Industry 4.0: what’s changing in practice?

Industry 4.0:what’s changing in practice?

Why industrial practices are outdated

and what will inevitably change in the industry?

The needs of industrial companies have changed radically under the pressure of markets and society.

In the past, measuring efficiency (OEE), production quantities and scrap rates seemed to be sufficient to establish whether a factory was working well or not. High production rates were the norm and hyper-specialisation of tools and skills was the norm.

But mass consumption has gradually declined in favour of more differentiated products. New products are coming to market faster than before and in greater numbers. They also have a much shorter shelf life than in the past. Manufacturers have bad to adapt by better integrating research and development with production.

The aim today is to produce smaller batches adapted to these more profitable niche markets and to develop their products more quickly and more often in line with market demand (with less consumption of resources, more organic, more ethical etc…).


The manufacturers who have managed to stand out from the international competition in recent years are those who now offer more services and more values (social, environmental) associated with their products. The success of TESLA is iconic for its product, but the organisation model of its factories has also become so (to the point of overtaking the old world manufacturers in this respect). This requires a complete vision of the value chain from design to after-sales service. This new transversal organisation needs new tools to communicate in real time and pull in the same direction.

Since innovation cannot be decreed, horizontal collaboration is encouraged to carry out new projects in agile mode. Employees from different departments work outside the old silos by self-organising. Collective intelligence is emphasised to find pragmatic solutions and adapt to the ever more brutal changes in the economic (and health) environment.

The first concrete marker of Industry 4.0 is the shift from a reactive approach to the progress loop.

The first tangible change is the functionality of the Manufacturing Execution System software. Until now, the MES was designed to capture as much information as possible in order to produce indicators that would warn of any problems.

This “monitoring » was tainted with punitive thoughts from another century It is the generally accepted idea that the more information you have, the better you can detect anomalies and measure statistical trends towards an ideal target. This is typical of SPC (Statistical Process Control) systems, a concept that dates back to the 1920s and that surely inspired George Orwell, the author of “1984”!

Fortunately, it has since been understood that process stability is an illusionin the context of the hyper-rapid change we are experiencing. By nature, stable processes only concern old products and therefore only a declining part of production. This model does not allow for rapid performance on new products, precisely those that make the difference on the market if they are delivered on time and in the expected quality.

It is the whole chain that must be in permanent self-adaptation. For this to happen, people and machines must share relevant, contextualised information in real time. Flows and controls are more generic so as not to overcomplicate and multiply exceptions.

At the same time, operators are given the means to manage unforeseen events in a more structured way than before. The search for causes is systematic and no longer limited to the strict perimeter of manufacturing. Changes can concern all links in the chain, from design to sales, including methods and quality. The sharing experience is no longer compartmentalised by department with the setting up of multi-disciplinary teams. This accelerates not only the search for solutions, but also the execution of action plans. Actions are audited to validate the effectiveness of the solutions provided.


If necessary, Management support is needed, but only in coaching mode. Employees no longer come with problems but with solutions.This approach allows for faster reaction and stable processes in an unstable environment. The MES of Industry 4.0 is distinguished by its ability to make all departments collaborate in the continuous improvement process. By putting people at the centre of everything, MES 4.0 is a facilitator of good practices and not an omniscient algorithm.To enable continuous improvement, MES must offer:

  • A quick way to directly alert the right people in case of a problem
  • Easy access to information to analyse problems
  • A single exchange platform to create and carry out action plans
  • Audit-based closure of actions
  • Active management of the skills matrix

You will find these functionalities in the SMARTPROD application.

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Is MES compatible with Lean Manufacturing?

Est-ce que le MES est compatible avec le Lean Manufacturing ?

A écouter les puristes du Lean, on finirait par croire que les principes du Lean Manufacturing sont à l’opposé de ceux du MES. Le MES serait un obstacle pour implémenter le Just-In-Time et pour rendre chaque collaborateur acteur de l’amélioration continue. Faut-il croire qu’un peu de technologie utilisée à bon escient ne pourrait pas au contraire accélérer la mise en œuvre du Lean Manufacturing ?

Prenons l’exemple de plusieurs outils du Lean Manufacturing :
  • La méthode 5S : cette méthodologie vise à mettre de l’ordre, standardiser et maintenir dans le temps. Or une application peut justement apporter la rigueur nécessaire (contrôle, rappels périodiques, procédure d’exécution) bien plus qu’un processus papier. Plutôt que coller des photos sur un tableau blanc, pourquoi ne pas directement prendre et visualiser les phots avant / après. Mieux qu’un formulaire, pourquoi ne pas procéder aux contrôles via une check-list numérique liée à une base de donnée (pas de ressaisie) et dotée de règles qui seront appliquées ?
  • Andon : c’est le management visuel par excellence, utiliser notamment pour connaitre l’état réel des équipements et des opérations. Le temps réel est seulement possible avec une solution digitale et connectée. Plutôt que d’installer ces gyrophares assez disgracieux et encombrant, pourquoi ne pas appliquer ce principe en affichant les états machines sur une smartTV placée à un endroit clé de l’atelier ? c’est plus facile d’interagir avec l’écran pour connaitre la nature d’une panne par exemple. C’est aussi plus pratique quand le parc machine est très vaste.
  • Flux continu : avoir le minimum d’en-cours entre les postes de travail en synchronisant les priorités tout au long de la chaine de production. Ce n’est possible qu’en ayant la vue globale sur l’ensemble des ateliers et un algorithme de priorisation performant, et donc pas gérable manuellement. Les méthodes d’équilibrage des flux requièrent une connaissance en temps réel des en-cours et des priorités, ce qui n’est pas possible avec des outils manuels ou bien excel.
On pourrait aussi trouver des avantages à digitaliser le Kanban, le Heijunka ou le Poka-yoke. Le MES doit s’adapter à vos besoins et non l’inverse. C’est dans cet esprit que le MES SMARTPROD a été conçu : flexible, centré sur l’utilisateur et simple à utiliser. Si ces sujets vous concernent, n’hésiter pas à échanger vos idées avec nous et nous trouveront ensemble les solutions techniques qui apportent une vraie valeur ajoutée à votre démarche Lean Manufacturing.

How Low-Code development platforms enable agile applications?

How Low-Code development platforms enable agile applications?

We are going through an unprecedented crisis where the company must reinvent itself. New business, new processes, new approaches. How can we achieve such a rapid change with old world applications? I propose to explore a real alternative to meet your business needs. Discover how Low-Code development platforms allow you to create agile applications in a few weeks.

What impact on application projects?

Development times are reduced, the developer profiles sought are less specialised and easier to train, and the applications are easier to operate and maintain. Non-computer scientists can contribute directly to the development of the application, which allows
the business to be really involved in the project. The implementation deadlines are shorter and as a result, the Business sees the realisation of its requests sooner.

What does a low-code platform bring technically?

For a solution architect, a low-code platform opens new perspectives. In particular, they allow uniform processing of PC, Hybrid (HTML5 web browser) or natively mobile applications. They can share data with third-party databases in a bidirectional, synchronous, or asynchronous manner (via API, webservice, Rest, Odata, etc.). All deployment options are possible (public cloud, private cloud, on-premises) depending on the context of each company.

How long has Low-Code been around?

Although the official term dates back to 2014 (Forrester), the concepts date back to the 1990s when people were already talking about automatic code generation, visual programming and development by users. Unlike “No-Code” platforms such as Microsoft PowerApps where no extension is possible, “low-code” platforms allow you to add programming if needed to create your own objects (widgets) that will be added to the standard toolbox. Today, developers are looking for tools that improve their productivity (object programming) and more efficient project methodologies, but the Agile method does not adapt well to the siloed work imposed by traditional programming. A low-code platform must also be an agile collaborative tool.

Why are low-code platforms so successful today?

The explosion of the mobile application market in the private sector has made users of enterprise applications much more demanding and critical of the user experience offered by applications that have not evolved to the “full web”.

In addition, the rapid digitalisation of companies has increased the expectations of new functionalities from the business. IT could not meet these needs with its limited applications and its highly technical teams of developers, who were not very well versed in the analysis of new needs. A low-code platform will allow the creation of a mixed Business/IT team in an iterative process of design and improvement of a solution that is built as it moves forward.

What are the benefits for the company’s organisation? Increased reactivity and security: respond in a short time to a specific business need thanks to a common platform whose maintenance is controlled, without resorting to exotic software or the jungle of Excel/Access files. Business satisfaction with IT services improves accordingly. Theapplication portfolio becomes manageable for IT.

Bi-Modal Architecture

Bimodal architecture: keeping a standard ERP and managing innovation on the Low-Code platform

Shouldn’t low-code be limited to small, low-risk applications?

The evaluation criteria used by analysts (Forrester or Gartner) measure the ability of the leaders in this market to build robust applications and to manage the application lifecycle according to the most demanding standards. Banking and insurance groups use this type of platform for their most sensitive activities because they appreciate, among other things, the data encryption that these platforms offer natively, whereas many in-house applications struggle to be equipped with the latest security technologies.

To find out more about low-code development and to form your own opinion:

Discover the Mendix platform

Scheduling, the great forgotten function of planning tools

Scheduling, the great forgotten function of planning tools

Imagine a strategist leading troops without the tactical sense to adapt the strategy to the context on the ground. The situation is similar when a planner delivers his production plan and leaves the workshops without a short-termscheduling tool.

What is scheduling?

It is the coordination of the necessary means (human resources, machines, components, etc.) for the realisation of the production plan which defines an optimal sequence of the different operations.

How do you recognise a lack of scheduling?

Chronic delivery delays, ongoing stress on the shop floor, high levels of idle work-in-process, and the inability to prioritise emergencies from start to finish. Successful scheduling reduces cycle times, thereby reducing WIP volumes and shortening delivery times. Tréso BFR

planning, scheduling
Why is scheduling an issue that goes beyond the workshop?

The quality of scheduling depends on good communication between the Production department and the support services (Purchasing, Methods, Quality, Maintenance, etc.). Supply delays, the quality of work instructions, the rework process and breakdowns are all incidents that will penalise scheduling. The search for efficiency at all costs (illustrated by disproportionate batch sizes) is also penalising.

What are the prerequisites for successful scheduling?

Successful scheduling is only possible if:

  • Capacities have been regularly sized to avoid chronic bottlenecks (through investment choices that favour resource versatility over hyper specialisation) and if the production plan has been established in “finite capacity” mode (even if the theoretical capacity is always a matter for discussion)
  • Suppliers are able to supply within the expected timeframe and to the expected quality level
  • • The manufacturing processes are sufficiently robust to meet the time schedules and the desired level of quality
Is orderliness a utopian goal?

No, but it requires a pragmatic approach to continuous improvement and a scheduling tool that integrates all these dimensions:

  • Effective communication between Production and Support departments in the event of hazards
  • Fine analysis of these hazards to build continuous improvement plans based on precise statistics
  • Analysis of rejects and rework according to a catalogue of defects adapted to each workshop
  • Analysis of time differences
  • Analysis of real loads (on real work in progress) and not theoretical (on planned dates)
  • Evolution of average waiting times and the number of dormant operations
  • Measurement of the punctuality of production orders
  • Projection of deliverable quantities over the month
How to set an optimal running order?

The deterministic method proposed by the market planning tools (GANTT) is often considered too centralising and unrealistic by the teams on the ground. There are several other more pragmatic methods which aim to:

  • Be flexible to incorporate emergencies not foreseen at the time of planning
  • Take into account the interdependencies specific to the machinery or the specific skills of each operator.

The principle consists of trusting the intelligence of the teams in the field and applying the same prioritisation rule to all operations: first in first out, shortest operation to be carried out first, delivery time of the production orders, critical ratio, priority to the shortest queue, etc. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, but they perform better than the deterministic method in general when hazards are frequent. The choice must be made according to your objectives: meeting deadlines, equipment saturation, reduction of work-in-process values, etc.

We can help you establish a free diagnosis of your scheduling process and give you our recommendations. Contact us.


10 erreurs à éviter pour créer une nouvelle application sur-mesure

10 erreurs à éviter pour créer une nouvelle application sur-mesure

  1. Reproduire l’existant. A quoi bon faire un nouveau projet pour faire la même chose qu’avant ? Ce sera bien compliqué de justifier d’un quelconque Retour sur Investissement dans ces conditions. Il faut prendre du recul pour faire la part des choses entre ce qui est bon et qu’il faut continuer de faire et ce qui est néfaste et qu’il faut arrêter de faire.

  2. Accepter toute nouvelle demande du business telle quelle. Cette nouvelle demande reflète-t-elle un besoin de confort de l’utilisateur ou une vraie valeur ajoutée pour l’entreprise ? Il faut challenger ces demandes pour identifier les motivations profondes et les résultats attendus. Si la demande est mise en place, une mesure effective du résultat obtenu sur la durée est indispensable. Une demande dont le bénéfice n’est pas mesurable doit être doublement questionnée sur sa pertinence.

  3. Confier à une seule personne le soin d’imaginer la solution future. Personne n’est omniscient et le diable est dans les détails. Par conséquent, seule une équipe multidisciplinaire peut arriver à appréhender l’ensemble des particularités à traiter dans la future application. L’échange entre des personnalités différentes aboutit à une vision plus équilibrée et augmente les chances de succès.

  4. Ignorer les contraintes techniques. Certes la technologie a fait des progrès étonnants mais certaines d’entre elles peut être encore chères et peu fiables (par exemple la reconnaissance faciale). Si vous ne voulez pas exploser les plannings et les budgets, assurez-vous de l’assistance d’experts techniques capables de vous orienter vers des technologies matures et abordables.

  5. Se cacher derrière les contraintes techniques pour ignorer une demande fonctionnelle. Par facilité ou par ignorance, il est facile de repousser une idée sous prétexte qu’elle semble irréalisable. La bonne démarche consiste plutôt à croiser l’avis d’autres personnes en leur expliquant le besoin fonctionnel : il existe peut-être une solution alternative qui n’avait pas été imaginée ou bien une approche inédite est possible sous certaines conditions. Pas de « non » hâtif, mais toujours envisager les options possibles pour répondre à la demande.

  6. Adopter une méthodologie de projet en cascade. Un projet innovant est par nature un projet itératif qui doit délivrer du concret rapidement pour se confronter à la réalité du marché, apprendre de ses erreurs et corriger très vite le tir pour s’adapter à la demande réelle. Le business n’est pas en mesure de tout décrire et de penser à tout ce qu’une application sera censée faire aujourd’hui et encore moins demain. Alors il faut adopter une méthodologie Agile faite d’expérimentations, d’échecs, et d’adaptations permanentes.

  7. Gérer le projet de manière isolée, en dehors de toute vision stratégique. Une application s’inscrit toujours dans une stratégie d’entreprise. Sans une vision stratégique, comment décider dans quel sens l’application devra évoluer. Il serait impossible de faire des choix clairs sur la roadmap de l’application et on serait alors submergé par des demandes d’évolution qui partent dans toutes les directions et parfois contradictoires. Pour arbitrer entre les demandes, il faut avoir cette ligne de mire que constitue la vision stratégique de l’entreprise.

  8. Gérer un projet de type informatique. Certaines le département Informatique est concernée par plusieurs aspects du projet comme la sécurité, l’hébergement, l’intégration. Mais une nouvelle application Métier est avant tout un projet organisationnel et décisionnel du et pour le Métier. Par conséquent, le Métier doit s’emparer du lead de ce projet, et le département Informatique est un facilitateur du projet.

  9. Un projet sans ressource. Il n’est pas toujours possible de libérer à 100% des personnes clés de l’entreprise pour se consacrer entièrement au projet. Par conséquent, il faut adopter une organisation de projet qui optimise au mieux les ressources disponibles. Si les personnes clés peuvent libérer 40% de leur temps pour le projet, il faut faire montrer en compétences des personnes de l’équipe pour qu’elles assurent l’interim opérationnel à 40%, ce qui apportera de la polyvalence dans les équipes aussi après le projet. Les tâches de projet les moins critiques peuvent être confiées à des jeunes talents qui sont eux dédiés à 100% du projet et en seront les chevilles ouvrières. Les personnes-clés feront bénéficier de leur expérience et participent aux décisions.

  10. Adopter une plateforme technique de pur développement. Si vous pensez que tous les outils de développement se valent et que seul compte la qualité des développeurs, vous allez au-devant de lourdes désillusions. La rapidité avec laquelle les outils de développement évoluent pose de nombreuses questions : est ce que vos développeurs seront toujours à la pointe dans 3 ans ? est ce que l’éditeur de la plateforme de développement existera encore dans 3 ans ? est ce que vous trouverez sur le marché des développeurs formés à cet outil dans les prochaines années et à des tarifs raisonnables ? 

Voilà au moins 10 bonnes raisons de se rencontrer et de vous proposer une approche adaptée à votre contexte.